The Bobcats, led by outside hitters Mallory Salis and Jaime Kosiorek, defeated the Bulls with a 25-15, 25-14, 25-15 victory.
The Convo hosted a court full of Bulls on Friday evening.
But instead of displaying intimidating aggression and bellows of passion like most bison, this group from Buffalo was mostly submissive and immensely silent against the Bobcats.
“In general, they’re just not a really loud team,” Ohio coach Deane Webb said. “Nothing right or wrong with that. Every team has its own vibe. But you balance that against a Kent State that was here and is really, really loud, there’s certainly a different level.”
With a crowd of 1,261 seemingly noiseless attendees, as well, Ohio (22-6, 12-3 Mid-American Conference) quieted Buffalo (7-20, 6-9 MAC) in a dominating — 25-15, 25-14, 25-15 — sweep.
“It was pretty quiet in here,” junior Mallory Salis said. “It didn’t seem like the crowd was into it. Those are the times when you find your own energy. We created our own little atmosphere we enjoy playing in, and I think that really motivated us to get this game over with.”
The still setting fit the business-like approach the Bobcats want to bring forward with the MAC postseason quickly approaching.
Webb said his team is gelling at the right time, especially following a few tactical changes with moving Shelby Walker back to the middle and utilizing a heavy dose of Salis and Jaime Kosiorek on the outside.
Kosiorek and Salis both finished the night with 10-plus kills, a positive sign for the Bobcats in need for heavy production from their outside hitters in the upcoming MAC tournament.
“Yeah, it’s here,” Kosiorek said of conference tournament play approaching. “However quick it came, now it’s finally here. We have to make a run at this tournament.”
The inevitable closing of regular season play seemed to sneak up on Webb, as well.
“As the saying goes, ‘The days are long but the months are short,’ ” he said. “Here you are at the middle of November, and you’re like, ‘Whoa, postseason starts next week.’ ”
Saturday is the final MAC regular season game against Akron, and Ohio will honor its five seniors: Meredith Ashy, Karin Bull, Abby Gilleland, Aubree Hord and Walker.
One expectation for the matchup with Akron is that the volume will be turned up a notch to celebrate the dedicated upperclassmen.
As for Friday, Webb and his players attributed most of the soundless match to service aces/errors and the absence of rallies, as most points were quick, dig-set-kill finishes.
In all, Webb really didn’t seem to mind the hushed aura of the arena.
“Hey, if it means we’re winning short rallies,” he said. “Well then that’s good with me.”